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. Biography (English)
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Kim Philby Was Here (English)

. El Espía - Graham Greene (Español)

Biografía 1
(Español) - Gustavo Morales - colaboradores@elnuevocojo.com
- Fuente El Nuevo Cojo

En 1949, el FBI descubrió que entre 1944 y 1946 un miembro de la embajada británica había estado enviando mensajes secretos a la KGB bajo el nombre código "Homer." Kim Philby, enlace entre la inteligencia americana y británica fue informado de lo que sucedía y al leer el informe no tuvo ninguna duda sobre su veracidad. Homer, era un miembro de la red de contra espionaje que el mismo dirigía para la KGB desde hacia mas de veinte años.

Todo había comenzado casi treinta años antes, en la universidad de Cambridge.

Philby, hijo de un alto diplomático inglés, nació en Ambala, India en 1912. Mientras estudiaba en Cambridge se había unido al partido comunista de la mano de un aristocrático compañero de estudios, Anthony Blunt.

A través de Blunt, Philby hizo amistad con otros dos estudiantes, Donald Maclean y Guy Burgess. Juntos pasarían a la historia como Los Cuatro de Cambridge.

El reclutamiento de ninguno de ellos había sido al azar. La NVKD, antigua KGB, trataba de seleccionar solo a aquellos con potencial de trabajar para el gobierno británico. También buscaban a los que difícilmente pudieran ser reconocidos como comunistas. Maclean, Burgess y Blunt, abiertamente homosexuales, estaban lo más alejado posible del agente soviético ideal para los estándares de la época. Philby simplemente era hijo de uno de los más respetados miembros del servicio exterior. A pesar de esto todos se destacarían por su trabajo como espías.

En principio, los cuatro llevaron a cabo tareas de poca envergadura, mientras eran probados por la NVKD quien quería asegurarse de no haber reclutado dobles espías. Pero a medida que fueron logrando posiciones de más relevancia, la importancia del equipo se hizo obvia.

Blunt se convirtió en agente del MI5, agencia de contrainteligencia de Inglaterra equivalente al FBI, y en el curador de arte de la reina de Inglaterra. Maclean trabajaba en el servicio exterior inglés. Burgess, llegaría a ser secretario del Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores. Y llegó a ser Jefe de Inteligencia para los asuntos con Rusia.

Entre 1940 y 1945, gracias a la información que transmitieron a los rusos, más de 700 agentes de los Estados Unidos y Gran Bretaña, nunca fueron vueltos a ser vistos con vida.

Pero la red adquirió real importancia con el inicio de la guerra fría. Maclean, sobre todo, se convirtió en una pieza clave para Stalin. Asignado a la embajada británica en Washington, estaba a cargo del programa nuclear angloamericano. El desarrollo de la bomba nuclear por parte de los rusos se le atribuye en mucho al trabajo de Maclean.

Guy Burgess, por su lado, tras una breve carrera como presentador de la BBC se convirtió en secretario del Ministro del Exterior, Hector McNeil. Como secretario de McNeil, Burgess fue capaz de transmitir archivos secretos a Rusia sin ser descubierto, sacándolos en la noche para ser fotografiados y devolviéndolos en la mañana antes que McNeil llegara a su oficina.

Blunt servía de intermediario entre agentes soviéticos y sus tres compañeros, y por su relación con la familia real era capaz de hacerse con importantes rumores de palacio.

Pero sin ninguna duda la pieza más importante de todo el grupo era Philby quien desde supuesto en el MI5 y como controlador de todo lo que entraba y salía de la inteligencia británica, era capaz de sabotear cualquier investigación que fuera por buen camino. Philby era un maniático del orden, y pesar de que al igual que sus compañeros había sido atacado por el alcoholismo, y una vida personal disoluta (se casó tres veces en este período), su autocontrol en el trabajo, le había convertido en el hombre de confianza de la KGB.

Pero en 1949 las cosas dieron un giro brusco. Robert Lamphere, agente del FBI a cargo del espionaje ruso, descubrió que entre 1944 y 1946 un miembro de la embajada británica en Washington había enviado mensajes secretos a la KGB bajo el nombre código "Homer." Por eliminación, los sospechosos fueron reducidos a tres. Uno de ellos era Donald Maclean.

Philby, sabía muy bien que “Homer” era Maclean e inmediatamente le comunicó a la KGB que éste sería descubierto en cualquier momento. Blunt fue el encargado se hacer todos los arreglos para la deserción.

No podía comunicarse con Donald, este trabajaba ahora en Inglaterra, y además muy seguramente estaba siendo seguido de cerca. Por lo que se ideó un complicado plan para hacerlo.

Burgess sería removido del cargo y enviado a Londres. Una vez allí le informaría personalmente que los rusos esperaban por él. El único problema es que Burgess decidió desertar también. El 25 de mayo de 1951, Burgess y Maclean tomaron un barco a Francia y de allí huyeron a Rusia para nunca más volver. Philby jamás perdonó el error de Burgess. Cuando la noticia llegó a Washington y Londres inmediatamente empezaron a atar cabos. Alguien había soplado el inminente arresto de Maclean.

Había un tercer hombre y Philby, en cuya casa Burgess había vivido en Washington, se convirtió en el principal sospechoso. Fue enviado de vuelta a Londres, y acusado, al principio sólo de su asociación indiscreta Burgess. Más tarde de espionaje.

Pero tras decenas de interrogatorios e investigaciones ninguna acusación contra el prosperó y permaneció trabajando para la inteligencia británica por 10 años más, hasta 1963, cuando un desertor soviético lo identificó como el tercer hombre.

Doce años después de la deserción de Burgess y Maclean, Philby llegó a Rusia, y fue recibido como un héroe.

En Rusia, Burgess trató de volver a Inglaterra, pero ni los rusos lo dejaron ir ni los ingleses le dieron permiso para volver. Moriría sin haber aprendido ruso en el apartamento que compartía con su amante ruso en 1963, el año en que llegó Philby. En su testamento le dejó todo a éste, quien se negó a ir a verlo en su lecho de muerte.

Donald Maclean se adaptaría más completamente convirtiéndose en ciudadano soviético y en experto en materia económica en las relaciones con occidente. Moriría en 1983.

Kim Philby fue un héroe desde su llegada Moscú. Allí se divorcio de su esposa y se casó nuevamente con una rusa, dedicándose a ser consultor de la KGB y a profesor universitario. Harold Adrian Russell ("Kim") Philby, "The Third Man", moriría en 1988. La Unión Soviética le dio la orden de Lenín y una estampilla con su cara circuló por años como homenaje póstumo.

Después del escándalo, rumores de un cuarto hombre circularon en la inteligencia británica. Pero Anthony Blunt no sería descubierto hasta 1964. El caso de Blunt era mucho más complicado que los de sus tres compañeros. Blunt era un caballero de la corona y amigo cercano de la familia real británica.

El SIS no quería que el caso se hiciese público, y tras interrogar a Blunt sin éxito en varias ocasiones decidieron ofrecerle inmunidad si hablaba. Al preguntarle que si el había espiado para los rusos respondió como un simple si.

El caso no saldría a la opinión pública hasta 1979, cuando Margaret Thatcher le quitara el título de caballero y lo despidiera del cargo de curador de las pinturas de la reina, miembro del Trinity College y de la academia londinense.

Bajo interrogación, jamás reveló el nombre de ningún espía en funcionamiento.

Vivió en paz con su amante John Gaskin, y murió de un ataque cardíaco en 1983. Philby fue enterrado con honores en Moscú, Burgess y Maclean fueron cremados y sus cenizas devueltas a Inglaterra. Blunt, el perfecto caballero inglés, nunca abandono Inglaterra, y esta enterrado allí.

Arquitectura en Grecia -George Grosz - Arte - Ray Bradbury - Edgar A Poe por J Luis Borges

 

 

 


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El Espía - Graham Greene - Traducción y notas de Rubén Moheno - Fuente La Jornada

El espionaje hoy es realmente una rama de la guerra psicológica. El objetivo principal es sembrar la desconfianza entre los aliados del campo enemigo. Fuchs y Nunn May pueden haber capacitado a Rusia para avanzar unos pocos años en su fabricación de bombas atómicas, pero tarde o temprano en cualquier caso los soviéticos habrían alcanzado paridad suficiente en la habilidad para destruir al mundo y el intervalo, ya bien corto o largo, no entrañaba ningún peligro. Occidente, después del shock traumático de Hiroshima, no estaba preparado para realizar otro ataque atómico unilateral.

El verdadero valor de los dos científicos para los soviéticos no era el beneficio que recibieron de su información científica sino el de su captura, y el quiebre en las relaciones anglonorteamericanas que siguió. Un espía al que se le permite continuar su trabajo sin interferencias es mucho menos peligroso que el espía atrapado. Cuán atinado estaba el sis1 al defender a Philby y cuán equivocado el mI52 al forzarlo a descubrirse. Occidente sufrió más por su escapatoria que por su espionaje.

A veces me gusta imaginar qué habría ocurrido si Kim Philby3 se hubiera convertido realmente, como muchos pronosticaron, en c, el jefe del Servicio Secreto. La clase de información que habría tenido a su alcance como c difícilmente habría aumentado mucho en interés, e incluso habría disminuido: nada que ver con las tripas del asunto, sólo las minutas de grandes conferencias vacuas de alto nivel. Tarde o temprano ciertamente habría llegado el momento en que la kgb pensara que era tiempo para arreglar una filtración al mI5, seguida del escape exitoso de c y la carcajada del mundo.

Desde que el espionaje se dio a la guerra psicológica, se dio, también, a la literatura, así que es bueno también examinar cuidadosamente cualquier memorial de espías. En cualquier caso My Silent War (Mi Guerra Silenciosa) no es el libro que esperaban los enemigos de Philby. Su autobiografía es honesta, bien escrita, a menudo divertida, y la historia que tiene que contar, después de la escapatoria de Burgess y Maclean, atrapa más que cualquier novela de espionaje que yo pueda recordar. Se nos dijo que debíamos esperar mucha propaganda, pero no contiene ninguna, a menos que la digna exposición de sus creencias y motivos pueda ser llamada propaganda. El fin, por supuesto, se presenta ante sus ojos para justificar los medios, pero esa es una visión asumida, tal vez menos abiertamente, por la mayor parte de los hombres involucrados en la política si hemos de juzgarlos por sus acciones, así el político sea un Disraeli o un Wilson. "Traicionó a su país"; sí, tal vez lo hizo, ¿pero quién de nosotros no ha cometido traición contra algo o alguien más importante que un país? A los ojos de Philby, él trabajaba para dar forma a las cosas que vendrían, de lo cual se beneficiaría su propio país. En cualquier caso, los juicios morales están singularmente fuera de lugar en el espionaje. "Envió hombres a la muerte" es el tipo de frase de archivo que se ha usado contra Philby o Blake. Así lo hace cualquier comandante militar, pero la carne de cañón en el espionaje al menos se compone sólo de voluntarios. Uno no puede llorar razonablemente ante el destino del espía tránsfuga Volkov, que estaba traicionando a su país por motivos tal vez menos idealistas que los de Philby.4

Como muchos de los católicos que, en el reinado de Elizabeth, trabajaron por la victoria de España, Philby tiene una pasmosa certeza en lo correcto de sus juicios, el fanatismo lógico de un hombre que, una vez que halló una fe, no va a perderla por las injusticias o las crueldades inflingidas por la falibilidad de los instrumentos humanos. Cuánto católico bondadoso debe haber soportado los largos tiempos malos de la Inquisición con esa fe en el futuro como ancla salvadora. Los errores de política no habrían tenido ningún efecto sobre su fe, ni el mal cometido por algunos de sus líderes. Si hubiera habido un Torquemada entonces, en su corazón él habría sabido que un día habría un Juan XXIII. "No puede sorprender mucho que yo haya adoptado un punto de vista comunista en los años treinta; muchos de mis contemporáneos hicieron la misma elección. Pero muchos de los que hicieron su elección en aquellos días cambiaron de bando cuando algunos de los peores rasgos del estalinismo se hicieron evidentes. Yo sostuve el rumbo", escribe Philby, y pregunta con justicia qué alternativa posible podía haber en la mala era de Baldwin-Chamberlain. "Vi que el camino me llevaba hacia la posición política del exiliado quejumbroso, de la variedad Koestler-Crankshaw-Muggeridge, enfrentando al movimiento que me había decepcionado, al Dios que me había fallado. Esto parecía un destino horrendo, por más lucrativo que pudiera haber sido."

Su recuento del servicio secreto británico es devastadoramente cierto. "La facilidad de mi entrada me sorprendió. Después se supo que la única investigación que hicieron de mi pasado fue la referencia de rutina al mI5, que pasó mi nombre a través de sus registros y regresó con el lacónico señalamiento: ‘Nada registrado en contra.’" (Tuvo más suerte que yo. Yo tenía un antecedente policíaco porque los papeles de una demanda por difamación contra mí por la señorita Shirley Temple habían llegado al director de la fiscalía pública, y por eso la referencia había sido enviada precisamente a c.) Incluso hubo un momento en el que Philby dudó que de fuera realmente el servicio secreto donde había entrado. Sus primeros reportes concretos hicieron que su contacto soviético se inclinara a pensar que había entrado en la organización equivocada.

Su estudio de personajes es admirable mas no cordial. No me hablen de escritores fantasmas: sólo Philby pudo haber sido responsable por esto. Cualquiera que haya sido parte de la sección v estaría de acuerdo en la apreciación de su jefe. "Cowgill se solazaba en su aislamiento. Era una de esas almas puras que denunciaba a todos sus oponentes como ‘políticos.’" El subjefe del servicio secreto se reconoce de inmediato. "Vivian había dejado muy atrás su mejor momento; si en verdad tuvo alguna vez uno. Con su figura de carrizo, los rizos de su cabello bien peinados, los ojos húmedos." Con el propio c, el brigadier Menzies, Philby es inesperadamente amable, aunque tal vez las estrictas limitaciones de su elogio y una cierta nota de alta condescendencia no hayan encarecido el retrato del sujeto. Hacia Skardon, el interrogador del mI5 que quebró a Fuchs, tiene un verdadero respeto de artesano.5

Si este libro requiriera un subtítulo, yo sugeriría: El espía como artesano. Nadie pudo tener mejor jefe que Philby cuando estuvo a cargo de la sección ibérica v. Trabajaba más duro que cualquiera y no daba nunca la impresión de faena. Siempre estaba relajado, por completo inalterable. En esos días él estaba, claro está, luchando la misma guerra que sus colegas: la tensión extrema debió venir después, cuando organizaba una nueva sección para contender con el espionaje ruso, pero a pesar de que entonces luchaba una guerra bien distinta, mantuvo su prestigio de artesano. Estaba decidido a que su nueva sección debía estar mejor organizada que cualquier otra parte del desvencijado sis. "Cuando nuestro voluminoso reporte estuvo listo para ser presentado al jefe, sentimos que habíamos producido el diseño de algo como un servicio, con bastantes alicientes serios para tentar al hombre joven capaz para verlo como una carrera para toda la vida." Se dedicó al reclutamiento con cuidado y entusiasmo. "Lo importante es hacerse de la gente valiosa cuando aún está disponible. Con las economías de tiempos de paz ya a la vista, sería mucho más fácil descartar el personal excedente que hallar gente más tarde para llenar los huecos que pudieran aparecer." Esta vez ningún contacto soviético sería capaz de preguntarse si había penetrado al equipo correcto. Un orgullo de artesano, sí, y claro que algo más. Sólo una sección eficiente podría probar minuciosamente la seguridad del servicio soviético. Era una maniobra fascinante pese a que sólo una parte sabía que era una guerra falsa.

La historia de cómo, para obtener su posición, eliminó a Cowgill hace, como admite él, una "lectura amarga, tanto como hace una escritura amarga"; uno siente por un momento el toque agudo de la espina de hielo en el corazón. Yo vi el principio de este asunto; de hecho renuncié antes que aceptar la promoción que era una pieza minúscula en la maquinaria de su intriga.6 Entonces lo atribuí a una ambición personal de poder, la única característica en Philby que pensé que era desagradable. Ahora me alegra haber estado equivocado. Estaba sirviendo a una causa y no a sí mismo, y así vuelve mi viejo gusto por él, cuando recuerdo con placer aquellos largos almuerzos de domingo en St. Albans en los que toda la subsección se relajaba bajo su liderazgo durante unas pocas horas de bebida abundante, y más tarde los encuentros con una pinta en las noches de guardia contra incendio en el pub atrás de St. James Street. Si uno cometía un error de juicio es seguro que él lo minimizaría y lo cubriría, sin crítica, con su vacilante ingenio tartamudo. Tenía todas las pequeñas lealtades hacia sus colegas, y claro que su gran lealtad era desconocida para nosotros. No me parece la menos admirable entre las cualidades humanas de Philby que durante todos esos años peligrosos hospedó a Burgess, sin que le fallaran los nervios o el humor, o su afecto.

Unos años más tarde, después de su exoneración por Macmillan en la Cámara de los Comunes, yo y otro amigo de Kim estábamos en Crowborough y pensamos buscarlo. El pasto crecido no mostraba ningún signo de atención y no hubo ninguna respuesta a la campana cuando la sonamos. Miramos a través de las ventanas de una fea y gran casa eduardiana, en los límites del bosque Ashdown, en este Surrey de los pobres. La correspondencia no se había recogido en mucho tiempo; el piso bajo la puerta estaba inundado de folletos publicitarios. En la cocina había algunas botellas de leche vacías y una solitaria taza sucia y un plato en el fregadero. Era más como un campamento gitano abandonado que la morada de un hombre con esposa e hijos. No lo sabíamos, pero ya había partido hacia Beirut; la última etapa de su viaje hacia Moscú, el hogar que nunca había visto. Es seguro que después de treinta años encubierto se ha ganado el derecho a descansar.

Notas

1 sis (también llamado mI6) es el departamento de servicio secreto, con actividad fuera de Gran Bretaña y a cargo de todo el trabajo de inteligencia, tanto el de espionaje como el de contraespionaje.

2 mI5, policía y servicios de seguridad dentro del territorio inglés, incluidas las áreas ultramarinas.

3 Kim Philby, hijo del establishment inglés, trabajó durante treinta años como agente encubierto y llegó a ser jefe de contrainteligencia soviética en el sis. Así, el hombre que realizaba operaciones contra los soviéticos estaba trabajando realmente para ellos. Fue el enlace del sis con la cia y el fbi en Washington, donde su memoria causa agudo escozor hasta la fecha. En 1963 su situación se hizo insostenible y debió escapar hacia la urss. Allá fue nombrado coronel de la kgb, recibió la Orden de la Bandera Roja y la Orden de Lenin. Graham Greene siguió siendo su amigo, lo visitó en Moscú cuatro veces, y para el asombro del mundo literario y el establishment inglés, hizo este escrito como prólogo a su autobiografía. Philby fue enterrado con honores en el Kremlin cuatro meses antes de la caída del bloque soviético.

4 En 1945 un hombre con acento ruso penetró en la embajada británica en Estambul y pidió hablar con un diplomático de alto rango. Dijo llamarse Konstantin Volkov, pertenecer a la nkdvd (luego kgb) y tener una propuesta a cambio de un salvoconducto a Chipre y una cifra exacta, 27 mil 500 libras esterlinas. Ofrecía un gran bagaje de información sobre los soviéticos; entre otras cosas, nombres de agentes que trabajaban para los rusos en el gobierno de Londres, dos de ellos en el Foreign Office y un funcionario de contrainteligencia, presumiblemente Philby. El diplomático que lo entrevistaba se comunicó a Londres y, después de una considerable demora (veintiún días), llegó a Estambul el propio Kim Philby (quien más tarde señaló que ese fue un momento verdaderamente difícil). A Volkov no se le vio más. En el típico estilo soviético, un avión ruso fuera de programa aterrizó en Estambul, un auto se le aproximó antes de que la torre de control reaccionara y unos hombres subieron un bulto vendado a bordo y el avión despegó. El bulto vendado era, muy probablemente, el infortunado Volkov.

5 Es sabido que la información confiable se obtiene mejor cuando se interroga a un sospechoso con base en una masa de información que la organización de inteligencia ya posee previamente. William Skardon describió así el momento decisivo: "Él [Klaus Fuchs] estaba obviamente sometido a una presión mental considerable. Yo sugerí que debía despejar su mente y aclarar su conciencia contándome la historia completa. Él dijo: ‘Usted nunca me convencerá para que hable.’ En ese punto nos fuimos a almorzar. Durante la comida pareció muy abstraído y estar resolviendo la cuestión […] Sugirió que volviéramos de inmediato a su casa. Al llegar dijo haber decidido que sería de su mayor interés contestar mis preguntas. Entonces le hice ciertas preguntas y en respuesta me dijo que estaba comprometido con el espionaje desde mediados de 1942 hasta hacia un año aproximadamente. Dijo que había un flujo continuo de información relativa a la energía atómica, mediante encuentros irregulares pero frecuentes." (Reporte de W. Skardon, agente de la contrainteligencia inglesa mI5, enero 31, 1950). El interrogador no sólo se ganó la confianza del científico nuclear para que confesara su parte, sino además para que identificara por fotografías a su contacto en Estados Unidos, Harry Gold. Gold, quien también estaba con ánimo platicador, permitió seguir la cadena que llevaba inexorablemente a Julius y (supuestamente) a Ethel Rosenberg. Ambos fueron ejecutados en la silla eléctrica. El presidente Eisenhower no perdonó la vida a esa mujer, con la divisa de que entonces los soviéticos emplearían más mujeres para su espionaje.

6 Cuando Greene renunció la guerra estaba prácticamente ganada. El escritor dijo muchas veces que estaba aburrido del trabajo de oficina y deseaba volver a ser escritor de tiempo completo.


Biography - Fuente Wikipedia

Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby or H.A.R. Philby (OBE: 1946-1965), (1 January, 1912 – 11 May, 1988) was a high-ranking member of British intelligence, a communist, and spy for the Soviet Union's NKVD and KGB.

In 1963, Philby was revealed as a member of the spy ring known as the Cambridge Five, along with Donald Maclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt and John Cairncross. Of the five, Philby is believed to have done the most damage to British and American intelligence, providing classified information to the Soviet Union that caused the deaths of scores of agents.

Early life

Born in Ambala Haryana, India, Philby was the son of St. John Philby, the British Army officer, diplomat, explorer, author, and Orientalist who converted to Islam and was advisor to King Ibn Sa'ud of Saudi Arabia. He was nicknamed after the protagonist in Rudyard Kipling's novel Kim about a young Irish Indian boy who spies for the British in India during the 19th century. After leaving Westminster School in 1928 at the age of 16 Philby studied history and economics at Trinity College, Cambridge where he was introduced to and became an admirer of Communism. It has been suggested that his father, while not a spy himself, was opposed to the British establishment and was thus Kim Philby's inspiration and probable mentor. The elder Philby died in 1960.

Philby asked one of his tutors Maurice Dobb how he could serve the Communist movement. Dobb referred him to a Communist front organization which in turn passed Philby to the Comintern underground in Vienna Austria. The front organisation was the World Federation for the Relief of the Victims of German Fascism in Paris, France. The World Federation was one of innumerable fronts operated by the German Communist Willi Münzenberg who was a leading Soviet agent in the West.

Espionage activities

The Soviet intelligence service itself (then the OGPU) recruited Philby on the strength of his work for the Comintern. His case officers included Arnold Deutsch [OTTO], Theodore Maly [MAN], and Alexander Orlov [SWEDE]. Each of them suffered under Stalin's purges.

In 1933, Kim Philby went to Vienna to aid refugees who were fleeing Nazi Germany. There he met Litzi Friedman, a Jewish Communist whom he married and brought to Britain to save her life. (The alliance did not outlast the Spanish Civil War.) In 1936, as ordered by Moscow, Philby began cultivating a pro-fascist persona, appearing at Anglo-German meetings and editing a pro-Hitler magazine. In 1937, he went to Spain to cover the Civil War, first, as a freelance journalist, and then as correspondent for The Times — reporting the war from Francisco Franco's perspective. Among his espionage duties for the Soviets was the writing of spurious love letters (interlaced with codewords), addressed to a girl in Paris who lived on the Rue de Grenelle. Only years later did he discover to his fury that the letters were actually addressed to the Soviet Embassy and that the possibility existed he could have been so easily found out. In December 1937, near the Spanish town Teruel, a shell hit the car in which he was traveling, killing three fellow journalists, but only wounding Philby, whom Franco decorated for bravery.

In 1940, Guy Burgess, who was working in Section D of SIS (later MI6) introduced him to Marjorie Maxse, an SIS officer, and Philby was recruited as a British intelligence officer. When Section D itself was destroyed (and Burgess booted out), Philby, who had been an instructor in the arts of "black propaganda", was retained and appointed as head of Section V, the Iberian Section, in charge of Spain, Portugal, Gibraltar, and Africa. As head of counter-espionage, Philby performed his duties so successfully, according to Seale and McConville, that he not only neutralized the Abwehr's attempts to sabotage British shipping, but he also came to the attention of "C", Sir Stewart Menzies, who in 1944 appointed him to the key position as head of the new Section IX: counter-espionage against the Soviet Union. As a Soviet agent, Philby had accomplished something of a coup.

All went well for Philby until August, 1945, when Constantine Volkov, an officer of the NKVD (later KGB) decided to defect to Britain with the promise that he would reveal the names of Soviet agents in SIS and the Foreign Office. When the report reached Philby's desk, with a bit of luck and clever scheming, he managed to get the assignment. He thus flew to Istanbul by way of Cairo. What with the plane being delayed by storms, the ambassador being on his yacht in the Bosporus, the Russians had time to whisk Volkov off to Moscow and Philby returned to London after a close call.

After the war, Philby was sent as Head of Station to Istanbul under the cover of First Secretary to the British Embassy. While there, he received a visit from Guy Burgess. In 1949, Philby's next — and last — assignment was as First Secretary to the British Embassy in Washington, where he acted as liaison between the British Embassy and the newly formed CIA. His luck ran out, however. First came the discovery of the cryptonym HOMER (Donald Maclean) in the VENONA decrypts — a "jigsaw puzzle" of decrypts, decoded piecemeal because some Soviet code clerk had used a one-time pad twice; then came another visit from Guy Burgess who ensconced himself in the Philby household for a year and proceeded to behave very badly. Burgess was declared persona non grata, as was Philby soon after.

After the defection of Burgess and Maclean, Philby was asked to resign from SIS, and he spent the next several years being questioned by MI5 and SIS. Since he did not break, however, he was finally cleared of being the "Third Man" by the Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan in the House of Commons. Eventually he was re-employed as an SIS agent, with the cover as a correspondent in Beirut for The Observer and The Economist.

Always in danger of having his cover blown by the next Soviet defector, Philby, confronted by new evidence brought to him by an old SIS friend, Nicholas Elliott, finally defected to the Soviet Union in January 1963, departing Beirut on the Soviet freighter Dolmatova.

Postwar career

After these two disasters, the CIA and MI6 largely gave up their attempts to plant agents in Soviet territory. Philby was also able to tell Moscow just how much the CIA knew about its operations. Moscow asked Philby not to bother saving spies who had served their purpose, but he sat on several reports that revealed the names of other Soviet spies anyway.

In January 1949, the British Government was informed that Venona project intercepts showed that nuclear secrets were passed to the Soviet Union from the British Embassy in Washington in 1944 and 1945 by an agent code-named 'Homer'. In 1950, Philby was asked to help track down this agent. Knowing from the start that 'Homer' was his old university friend, Second Secretary Donald MacLean, Philby warned MacLean in 1951, leading to his two friends' defection (and ultimately to his downfall).

Washington, D.C.

In October 1949 Philby arrived in Washington as British intelligence liaison to the newly created U.S. intelligence agencies under the National Security Act of 1947. Philby received Venona material which the U.S. was sharing with the UK, but he did not have information about the source, since Venona was one of the most highly rated top secrets. He shared a house in Washington, at 4100 Nebraska Avenue, N.W, with his friend from the Cambridge days, fellow British diplomat, intelligence officer and Soviet penetration agent, Guy Burgess.

In 1949, Philby was in Washington, D.C., as the MI6 liaison to the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The two agencies launched an attempted revolution in Soviet-influenced Albania. The exiled King Zog had offered his troops and other volunteers to help, but, for three years, every attempted landing in Albania met with a Soviet or Albanian Communist ambush (the Soviets knew the emergency radio call routine). Philby's betrayal cost 300 Albanian lives, and a similar betrayal occurred in the Ukraine. Couriers would travel to Soviet territory and disappear, and no useful information was coming out.

Philby is believed to have passed to Moscow information on the United States' small stockpile of atomic weapons and its capacity (at that time, severely limited) to produce new atomic bombs. Based in part on that information, Stalin went ahead with a 1948 blockade of West Berlin and began a large-scale offensive armament of Kim Il Sung's North Korean Army and Air Force that would later culminate in the Korean War. The latter conflict would later consume the lives of over one million Koreans, and about 30,000 U.S./Allied soldiers and marines.

When MacLean was identified in April 1951, surveillance commenced to obtain evidence independent of Venona, as the U.S. and UK did not want to reveal the existence of Venona. MacLean defected to Moscow with Guy Burgess a month later in May 1951. Philby came under instant suspicion as the third man who had tipped them off.

That year, Philby resigned under a cloud, and was denied his pension until an internal investigation failed to come up with definitive proof of his treachery. On October 25, 1955, against all expectations, he was 'cleared' by Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan in an ill-timed statement made in the House of Commons: "While in government service he carried out his duties ably and conscientiously, and I have no reason to conclude that Mr. Philby has at any time betrayed the interests of his country, or to identify him with the so-called 'Third Man,' if indeed there was one."

Beirut

Thus, in 1956 Philby was again in the employ of MI6 as an "informant on retainer" and was supposedly involved in Operation Musketeer, the British, French, and Israeli plan to attack Egypt and depose Gamal Abdel Nasser.

Better attested is his role as Middle East correspondent for the British newspaper The Economist, which also led to his exposure. Sometime in late 1962, a British-Jewish woman, Flora Solomon, was attending a cocktail party in Tel Aviv and made a comment about how Philby, the journalist in Beirut, displayed sympathy for Arabs in his articles. She said that his masters were the Soviets and that she knew that he had always worked for them. The comment was overheard by someone at the party and was relayed to the offices of MI5 in London, which sent Victor Rothschild to interview her. Mrs. Solomon declared that she would never testify against Philby, but she admitted that he had told her he was a spy and had tried to recruit her to the Communist cause.

Although MI5 and MI6 could not immediately agree on how to deal with Philby, it was eventually agreed that a personal friend of Philby from his MI6 days, Nicolas Elliott, would be sent to confront him in Beirut. There seemed to be a constant leak of information and it is alleged that there was a high-level mole in MI5 those days. Although it is unclear whether Philby was aware of the developments against him vis-a-vis Flora Solomon or whether he knew about the defection of Anatoly Golitsyn (which led to the arrest, escape, and defection to Moscow of fellow MI6 officer and Soviet agent George Blake), there is evidence that in the last few months of 1962 Philby began to drink heavily and his behaviour became increasingly erratic. Philby may have also been warned by Yuri Modin, a top Soviet handler who had served in the Soviet embassy in London, when he travelled to Beirut in December 1962. Modin was the controller of the "Cambridge Five".

It is reported that the first thing that Philby said upon meeting with Elliott was that he was "half expecting" to see him. Many sources claim that he confessed immediately when confronted with the evidence, while others, including Philby himself, have maintained that he continued to downplay the accusations. Although a further interrogation was scheduled in the last week of January 1963, Philby disappeared on January 23. Records later revealed that the Dolmatova, a Soviet freighter was called to port in Beirut on this date and had left so quickly its cargo remained scattered on the dock.

Moscow

Kim Philby surfaced in Moscow, and quickly discovered that he was not a colonel in the KGB, but still just agent TOM. It was 10 years before he walked through the doors of KGB headquarters. He suffered severe bouts of alcoholism. In Moscow, he seduced MacLean's American wife, Melinda, and abandoned his own wife, Eleanor, who left Russia in 1965.

According to information contained in the Mitrokhin Archive, the head of KGB counterintelligence, Oleg Kalugin met Philby in 1972 and found him to be 'a wreck of a man'; "The bent figure caromed off the walls as he walked. Reeking of vodka, he mumbled something unintelligible in atrocious, slurred Russian."

Over the next few years Kalugin and the Young Turks in the Foreign Intelligence Directorate rehabilitated Philby, using him to devise active measures, and to run seminars for young agents about to be sent to Great Britain, Australia, or Ireland. In 1972 he married a Russian woman, Rufina Pukhova, who was twenty years his junior, with whom he lived until his death at age 76, in 1988. His autobiography "My Silent War" was published in the West in 1968. Only posthumously did he receive the praise and appreciation which had escaped him in life; he was awarded a hero's funeral and numerous posthumous medals by a grateful USSR.

Philby was a close friend of the novelist Graham Greene, who reportedly left MI6 rather than become involved in exposing Philby. Greene's biographer, Norman Sherry, had this to say:

’Perhaps Greene, always intuitive, resigned because he suspected that Philby was a Russian penetration agent. … If Greene did suspect Philby, it would be just the kind of thing that would catapult him out of the service rather than share his suspicions with the authorities.

Chronology

  • 1912 Birth in India

  • 1919 Attended Aldro preparatory school in Eastbourne

  • 1924 Was a King's Scholar at Westminster School

  • 1929 Entered Trinity College, Cambridge at the age of 17 to read history.

  • 1930 Guy Burgess arrived at Trinity from Eton.

  • 1931 Joined the Cambridge University Socialist Society. Labour government of Ramsay MacDonald defeated 27th October. Philby became a more ardent socialist. After obtaining only a third in his history exams he transferred to economics.

  • 1932 Became treasurer of the Cambridge University Socialist Society.

  • 1933 Left Cambridge a convinced Communist with a degree in economics, then went to Vienna where Chancellor Dr Engelbert Dollfuss was preparing the first 'putsch' in February 1934. Philby became a Soviet agent.

  • 1934 Clash between the Austrian government and socialists in Vienna. On 24 February Philby married Alice (Litzy) Friedmann, born Kohlmann; then in May, after the collapse of the socialist movement in Vienna, he returned with his wife to England. He began work as a sub-editor of a Liberal monthly review, and joined Guy Burgess as a member of the Anglo-German Fellowship. (Philby edited the fellowship's pro-Hitler magazine, supported by Nazi funds). To cover up his communist background he also made repeated visits to Berlin for talks with the German Propaganda Ministry and with von Ribbentrop's Foreign Office.

  • 1937 In February Philby arrived in Spain to report on the Spanish Civil War from Franco's side. 20 May, 1937 he became correspondent of The Times with Franco's forces.

  • 1938 Awarded the 'Red Cross of Military Merit' by Franco personally.

  • 1939 In July, left Spain and became war correspondent of The Times at the British Headquarters in Arras.

  • 1940 In June, after the evacuation of British Forces from the European mainland, he returned to Britain. Recruited by the British Secret Service and attached to the Secret Intelligence Service under Guy Burgess in Section D. Assigned to school for under-cover work, but later transferred to the teaching staff of a new school for general training in techniques of sabotage and subversion at Beaulieu, Hampshire.

  • 1941 Transferred to MI6, Section V (Five). Philby took charge of the Iberian sub-section, responsible for British Intelligence in Spain and Portugal. Trained James Jesus Angleton in the arts and crafts of counterespionage.

  • 1942 Married his second wife Aileen Furse. Office of Strategic Services group under Norman Pearson arrived in London for liaison with British Secret Service. Philby's area of responsibility grew to include North African and Italian espionage under newly formed counter-intelligence units.

  • 1943 Section V moved from St Albans to London, bringing Philby closer to the centres of power.

  • 1944 Appointed head of Section IX, newly created to operate against communism and the Soviet Union.

  • 1945 In September Soviet intelligence officer Konstantin Volkov based at the Soviet embassy in Ankara seriously threatened Philby's position by offering to defect and provide the names of two agents working in the Foreign Office and one in MI6 (probably Philby). The offer was sent to Philby as head of the Section IX, Soviet counterintelligence. Soon afterwards, Volkov was kidnapped by Soviet agents and taken to the Lubyanka in Moscow for interrogation and execution.

  • 1946 Took a field appointment - officially as First Secretary with the British embassy in Turkey, actually as head of the Turkish MI6 station.

  • 1949 Became MI6 representative in Washington, as senior British Secret Service officer working in liaison with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the newly created CIA. He occasionally visited Arlington Hall for discussions about VENONA; furthermore, he regularly received copies of summaries of VENONA translations as part of his official duties. He sat in on a Special Policy Committee directing the ill-fated Anglo-US attempt to infiltrate anti-communist agents into Albania to topple the Enver Hoxha régime.

  • 1950 Guy Burgess arrived in Washington on assignment as Second Secretary of the British Embassy, and Philby invited him to stay at his house.

  • 1951 Philby learnt of the tightening net of suspicion surrounding Foreign Office diplomat and Soviet agent Donald Maclean, whose British embassy position at the end of the war had placed him on the Combined Policy Committee on Atomic Energy as its British joint secretary. Burgess's alcoholism caused Ambassador Franks to remove him and he returned to England. On 25 May, Burgess and Maclean disappeared from Britain, with help from Philby, having escaped via the Baltic to the Soviet Union. Philby summoned to London for interrogation and asked to resign from the Foreign Service.

  • 1952 In the summer a secret trial took place in which Philby underwent questioning about his activities.

  • 1955 The British Government published a 'White Paper' (report) on the Burgess-Maclean affair. On October 25, questions tabled in parliament asking about the 'third man', Philby. Harold Macmillan, foreign secretary in the Eden cabinet, stated that no evidence existed of Philby having betrayed the interests of Britain. Nevertheless, the Foreign Service dismissed him because of his association with Burgess.

  • 1956 In September British secret service arranged Philby to work for The Observer in Beirut as correspondent of and also The Economist; But that year Dick White, who suspected Philby of working as a Soviet agent, became head of MI6.

  • 1957 Aileen, Philby's second wife, died.

  • 1958 Married Eleanor Brewer.

  • 1962 George Blake unmasked. Philby then confirmed as an identified Soviet agent.

  • 1963 23 January, Philby disappeared in Beirut. The Soviet Union announced that it has granted Philby political asylum in Moscow. On 3 March, Mrs. Philby received a telegram from Philby postmarked Cairo, Egypt. On 3 June Izvestia located Philby with the Imam of Yemen. On 1 July, the British Government admitted that Philby had worked as a Soviet agent before 1946 and identified him as the 'third man'.

  • 1965 Awarded the Order of the Red Banner, one of the highest honours of the Soviet Union.

  • 1971, marries Rufina Ivanovna in Moscow.

  • 1988 Death at the age 76.

Kim Philby Was Here - Carlson, Amb. Richard, Carlson, Buckley - Source FDD - The Open Republic Institute - January 03, 2006

The downtown of this lovely port city now looks much as it did in the days when the Soviet spy and British Secret Intelligence officer Kim Philby lived and worked here. 

Beirut has morphed from the post civil war ruins of the ‘80's and ‘90's — crumbled mansions and blown-out hotels, dead dogs on the sidewalks — to a recreation of Ottoman-style buildings of polished granite, sandstone and marble. Memories of Philby linger like brazier smoke.

Harold Adrian Russell Philby — nicknamed Kim by his father from the title of the Rudyard Kipling book — was one of the most successful penetration agents ever to work against the West for Stalin and the KGB. In the early 1930s, Philby secretly joined the Soviet intelligence service and then became a reporter for The Times of London for which he covered the Spanish Civil War. Within a few years he was recruited from his scribe's day job into Britain's MI 6 and quickly (and ironically) rose to head their Soviet counter-intelligence directorate. Later, reporting to the KGB, he moved to Washington as the British liaison to the FBI and CIA. He even dined at J. Edgar Hoover's home in Northwest Washington. His active covert service for Soviet intelligence — 1934 to 1963 — was during some of that agencies' most murderous years.

Philby arrived in Beirut in the summer of 1956, a few weeks before the Suez crisis exploded. He had been fired from MI6 in 1951, under suspicion as the “third man” who had warned the British traitors Guy Burgess and Donald MacLean that MI 5 had them under surveillance as Soviet spies. Shortly before they were to be arrested they fled to Moscow.

In Beirut, Philby was under waning suspicion by the British of being a Soviet agent. Philby was very pro-Arab and equally anti-Israel and had arrived in Beirut as a correspondent for the Economist and the Guardian of London, though he maintained his connections with British intelligence and was given intelligence assignments by MI 6.

For his first months in Beirut, Philby lived with his father, St. John Philby, then a famed Arabist and explorer. St. John had converted to radical Islam — he had become a Wahabbi and called himself Hajj Abdullah — and at 71 was living with his young Saudi mistress “Rosie” and their two sons Khalid and Faris in a white stone villa in the mountain village of Altajun, twenty minutes west of Beirut.

St. John (pronounced by the British as “Sin-Jin”) had gone to the Arabian desert after WW1 and had explored it by camel. He befriended a desert warrior named Ibn Saud, who later seized all the arid land from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf, made himself king and named the new country Saudi Arabia, after his family. St. John Philby renounced England and helped King Saud create friendly relations with the US government and a consortium of American oil companies.

St. John's mistress was one of two teenage sisters, both slaves from Balucchistan, who King Saud had given him as a gift in 1948. (Philby kept one and sent the other back, as the pair bickered, he complained.) St. John's wife of forty years, Kim's mother Dora, remained in an alcoholic haze back in England, and she ultimately died from drinking.

St. John's small villa was called “Mahalla Jamil” (beautiful place) and was crowded with servants and Kim's half-brothers, about five and six old, and the plump stepmother Rosie, who wore the same bathrobe and slippers all day, knew no English and whose hobby, or so Kim complained to friends, was painting her toenails and wolfing down candy by the sack full.

By the fall of 1956, Kim had moved downtown to his own quarters and taken up with Eleanor Brewer, the wife of his old friend, the New York Time's Beirut correspondent Sam Pope Brewer. They had met at the bar of the St. George's Hotel.

Eleanor Brewer was from Seattle, Washington and had a young daughter with Brewer, who was covering Nasser in Egypt and traveling a great deal in the region. By the time Brewer discovered he had been cuckolded Philby's wife had died in England from general craziness fueled by alcohol, like his mother. Philby confronted Brewer, who was suspicious, and announced the affair. He told Brewer Eleanor wanted a divorce and that they planned to marry. Brewer's response, according to accounts Philby gave to friends, may contain a clue as to Brewer's emotional commitment to Eleanor. He said to Philby, “Well, that sounds like the best solution. What do you make of the situation in Iraq?”

Kim and Eleanor and Kim's pet fox “Jackie”, who he had raised from a cub (and had trained to use a toilet, and to drink Scotch whiskey, as he himself did every morning) moved to a fifth floor flat about 500 yards from Kim's “office” at the bar of the Normandie Hotel where he daily chatted-up journalist friends and intelligence officers, read the French and British papers, drank uncountable liters of whiskey and gin, and presumably worried about being caught for the serious deceptions in which he had engaged for more than two decades.

Fears of being exposed were legitimate. In January of 1963, Philby learned that he himself was again under strong suspicion by MI 6 of working for the Soviets.(He had been privately accused of treachery some years before in London but had successfully denied the allegations.) Soon, Philby was confronted in Beirut by an old British intelligence colleague, the MI6 officer Nick Elliot, who had specifically flown in to accuse Philby of treason. Philby gave Elliot a written confession of a sort, promised to discuss it further over the next few days, and then fled to the USSR; probably aboard the Russian freighter Dolmatova which left the Beirut port so quickly its cargo remained scattered on the dock. (Although others have said that Philby, aided by the KGB, was whisked to Syria in a truck and then taken on foot through Armenia into the Soviet Union, that the Dolmatova's quick departure was a ruse.)

Kim was later joined in Moscow by Eleanor Brewer but, true to his life's pattern, he abandoned her for Melinda MacLean, the American wife of his fellow British spy Donald McLean, who himself had defected to Moscow in 12 years before. (Philby later also abandoned Melinda. To paraphrase the writer Phillip Knightley, who spent much time with Philby, he loved deceit, all those lonely years.)

The Normandie Hotel on Avenue des Francaise is long gone, bulldozed into landfill. So is Kim and Eleanor's apartment building on the Rue Kantari. Jackie the fox was killed in a fall from the building's roof in 1962. There was speculation that Jackie was drunk. Philby, who betrayed his country and his friends and his lovers had deep feelings for his pet. Eleanor told friends that he mourned its death for weeks.

The St. George Hotel where Philby first met Eleanor Brewer is an empty shell, its façade heavily damaged in the explosion which wiped former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 19 others from the Beirut waterfront last February.

Eleanor returned to the US from Moscow and died in Seattle in 1968. Our friend Nigel West, the British author and expert on espionage, told us at lunch in London recently that Melinda MacLean, who had left her husband for Philby and had then been dropped by him for a young Russian woman named Rufina, is still alive. Melinda is very old and lives in seclusion in New York City. Rufina Philby, now his widow, and well debriefed by various intelligence agencies, is seen occasionally in and out of London. She has written a surprisingly good book about her life with her husband with some help from a Western intelligence officer friend.

Nick Elliot, the British intelligence officer who confronted Philby in Beirut died a few years ago. Elliot had privately denied the rumor that MI 6 used him to stampede Philby into defecting to avoid the scandal of a public trial, although there is no question that the British government, which had had its Profumo/Christine Keeler scandal, very much wished to avoid further bad publicity. Elliot said privately that Philby did sign a confession shortly before he defected and that Elliot had been authorized by the British Attorney General to grant Philby immunity in return for a full confession — but much of what he said turned out to be heavy with lies, particularly the names of fellow MI 5 and MI 6 officers who he falsely claimed were part of his Soviet spy network.)

St. John Philby, who had previously fallen out with King Saud, mended that fence in 1957 and returned to Saudi Arabia with Rosie and their boys Khalid and Faris. St. John died the next year; Rosie, if she were alive, would be about 70. She and the boys have disappeared into history's dustbin.

But St. John's old mountain villa remains. We drove to the village on Mount Lebanon looking for it. Ajaltun is now a mid-sized town, with much new construction. We found the mayor and a half dozen of his cronies lounging in the sunny town square. Only one of the men had ever heard the name Philby, “The spy” not the father, and one knew of a house named Mahalla Jamil. But there is a street with that name “beautiful place” — the mayor said and sketched a map. We canvassed houses along the narrow road that looks out over Beirut.

“I remember them,” said Salim Ghnem, a cheery and dignified 65 year-old engineer. “I used to live nearby. The old man, with the beard, was not popular with the neighbors.” Mr. Ghnem piled into our car to show us the house about a half-mile away.

Mahalla Jamil, a two-story hillside house of white stone, is larger than it was when St John and Rosie and Kim and the hired help and the small boys Khalid and Faris were there. A new addition has been added, said Mr. Ghnem, who didn't know the current owners, who weren't at home. He doubted they knew anything about the house's past. He walked nearby and fetched Nicholas Mrad, an electrician who was home for lunch and who has lived two houses away up the hill since he was born in 1951.

Mr. Mrad said he remembered the Philby family: the father was an old fellow with a white beard; the neighbors, mostly Christian didn't like the man and sometimes threw rocks at the house because the old man was a Muslim and frequently “spanked” his young wife; the oldest son was a middle-aged man who visited frequently and sometimes spent the night. Mr. Mrad said he was then about the age of the two young boys and was very friendly with them, one of them in particular.

Mr. Mrad trotted up the hill to his house. He returned with a black and white photo. He pointed to himself, age six, wearing a cowboy suit, posed with two women and two other boys wearing costumes. He identified “the mother.” “Everyone called her ‘Rosie”,” he said, and the other woman was the “family cook.” And the two boys in sailor suits? He couldn't remember the name of one of them. “But this was my friend,” he said and placed his finger on the boy's chest. “His name was Khalid,” he said.

Philby died in Moscow in 1988 and was buried there, less than four years before the USSR, to which he had devoted his entire adult life, ceased to exist.

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